Experience assisting federal and state TANF and workforce agencies identify effective strategies for helping disadvantaged people find and sustain gainful employment. Our publications illustrate the range of work we have done.
Welfare employment and training programs
Evaluation of Refugee Services
The study focuses on refugees in three sites—Houston, Miami, and Sacramento—who entered the country between 2000 and 2004. The study documents differences across the sites with regard to which refugee groups they served, the approaches taken for delivering services, and the emphasis placed on ESL instruction versus rapid employment. The report also presents employment, income, and public assistance outcomes of service recipients.
The Colorado Department of Human Services (DHS) contracted with The Lewin Group to perform an in-depth study of Colorado’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, Colorado Works. The reports examine employment and TANF outcomes of welfare and former welfare recipients, findings on work participation, and an examination of strategies being pursued by counties.
- Understanding Program Participation: Findings from the Colorado Works Evaluation, Mike Mueller, Bret Barden, Sam Elkin, and Mary Farrell, 2007.
- Colorado Works Evaluation: 2006 Annual Report, Mary Farrell, Demetra Nightingale, Bret Barden, Burt Barnow, Sam Elkin, Karen Gardiner, John Trutko, and Lesley Turner, 2006.
- Serving the Hard-To-Employ in Colorado, Mary Farrell and Sam Elkin, 2006.
- Welfare Leavers in Colorado, Sam Elkin, Bret Barden, Kip Brown, and Iris Chan.
Work Supports and Services for Low-Wage Workers
Written for the Research Forum, an initiative of the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, this article provides a short introduction to the literature on employment retention and advancement strategies and describes a group of interventions being tested in a national evaluation.
Evaluation of Washington State’s
WPLEX Post-employment Program
Washington State implemented its WorkFirst Post-Employment Labor Exchange (WPLEX) in 1998 to provide TANF post-employment services through a centralized call center. This study included an in-depth examination of the program's implementation and costs, and analysis of the effectiveness of WPLEX in moving individuals from welfare to work
- Impacts of Washington State's WorkFirst Post-Employment Labor Exchange, Mary Farrell, David Stapleton, Mike Fishman, Asaph Glosser, Matthew Langley, and Stephanie Laud, 2003.
- Washington State’s WorkFirst Post-Employment Labor Exchange: A Call Center Approach to Improving Employment Outcomes for Welfare Recipients, Mary Farrell, David Stapleton, Mike Fishman, and Stephanie Laud, 2002.
- A Preliminary Report on Washington State’s Post-Employment Programs, Mary Farrell, John Tapogna, Mike Fishman, and Stephanie Laud, 2001.
Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA)
To help build knowledge about how best to help welfare recipients sustain employment and advance in the labor market, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issued planning grants to 13 states. The Lewin Group provided technical assistance to help states implement and refine their employment, retention, and advancement strategies. MDRC was later awarded the contract to conduct an evaluation of ERA programs, to discover what approaches help welfare recipients and other low-income people stay steadily employed and advance in their jobs.
- Benefit-Cost Findings for Three Programs in the Employment Retention and Advancement (ERA) Project, Cindy Redcross, Victoria Deitch, and Mary Farrell, May 2010.
- New Strategies to Promote Stable Employment and Career Progression, Dan Bloom, Jacquie Anderson, Melissa Wavelet, Karen Gardiner, and Mike Fishman, February 2002.
- Program Design Manual Employment Retention and Advancement Project, Barbara Murphy, Mike Fishman, and Burt Barnow, December 1999.
- Job Retention and Advancement Among Welfare Recipients: Challenges and Opportunities: Research Synthesis, Mike Fishman, Burt Barnow, Karen Gardiner, Barbara Murphy, and Stephanie Laud, January 1999.
Enhanced Services for the Hard-to-Employ
Demonstration and Evaluation Project
This multi-site, multi-year effort rigorously tested programs designed to enhance employment, family functioning, and child well-being outcomes for current or former welfare recipients or other low-income parents who are hard to employ.
Success in the New Welfare Environment: Assessment of Approaches in HUD’s Employment and Training Initiatives
HUD contracted with ICF Consulting and the Lewin Group to review the employment and training components of 13 HUD programs. This study assessed HUD's efforts to help residents transition from welfare to work.
How Well Have Rural and Small Metropolitan Labor Markets Absorbed Welfare Recipients?
This report examines the impact of welfare reform in the 1990s on 12 rural and small metropolitan areas around the county to determine the effect of the movement of welfare recipients to work.
National Evaluation of Welfare-to-Work Strategies (NEWWS)
The NEWWS evaluation sought to find out what welfare-to-work strategies work best for what groups of recipients. Its examination of 11 programs in seven locations entailed tracking more than 40,000 single-parent families over a five-year period.
- Implementation, Participation Patterns, Costs, and Two-Year Impacts of the Detroit Welfare-to-Work Program, Mary Farrell, 2000.
- Implementation, Participation Patterns, Costs, and Two-Year Impacts of the Portland (Oregon) Welfare-to-Work Program, Susan Scrivener, Gayle Hamilton, Mary Farrell, Stephen Freedman, Daniel Friedlander, Marisa Mitchell, Jodi Nudelman, and Christine Schwartz, 1998.
- Evaluating Two Welfare-to-Work Program Approaches, Gayle Hamilton, Tom Brock, Mary Farrell, Daniel Friedlander, and Kristen Harknett, 1997.
Disability employment programs
Employing Welfare Recipients with
Significant Barriers to Work
This report reviews the disability literature in order to examine the disability community's efforts to help individuals with significant disabilities access and maintain employment; and identify how welfare agencies can learn from and build upon lessons from the disability community.